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Green screen Camea

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Ben HawkinsGreen screen Camea
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 3:59:20 pm

I am looking for a Camera, $5000.00 or under. Which can shoot a clean green screen for a company video blog.
I will be keying with AEcs3 and key light.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Green screen Camea
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 4:35:33 pm

The question is kind of misworded, and I don't mean the title. It is less about the specific camera you buy, and more about the format you record in. The better your color space, the easier it is to pull a good key. If you can capture uncompressed, that would I think be the ultimate source. But any 4:2:2 or better codec should be fine. With the latest plug-ins, even 4:1:1 DV25 footage will key all right.
Since I don't hear anything good about AVCHD, I'd personally steer clear of that scheme. But most other formats seem fine.

That said, these days you can pull a decent key with almost any footage from any camera, if you're using the right software, and you seem to have that already. Long as the green is evenly lit, you should be able to make it work using most any camera. With badly lit green, you make more work for yourself.

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Ben HawkinsRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 4:51:51 pm

Thanks for the response,
I really want to steer clear of 4:1:1. I have had nothing but problems with this sample rate and chroma keying. Even when I have a nice, evenly lit screen and talent standing 10 feet away. I know its possible, but the problems out weight the benefits.
To rephrase my question. If you have 5000.00 and were told to buy a camera that would be used mostly for green screen shoots. What camera would you buy?

I got the hottest beats and the softest fur.

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Tim KolbRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 8:45:41 pm

Under 5000.00 there aren't a lot of choices that will perform markedly better than DV...HDV is the principle player and the entry-level Panasonic HVX-200 will shoot DVCProHD...I've keyed it all, but then I've also keyed DV...

Keep in mind that how the foreground is lit is important as well as how evenly the greenscreen is lit. If the luma level of the green screen is simliar to the luma level of your foreground...the key will still be less than optimal.

Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects

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Ben HawkinsRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 9:07:06 pm

Thanks! I have keyed in DV as well (xL2) and it works fine. But thats still a 4000.00 camera. See i'm working with the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Professional DV Cameras. Keying with our GL2 always gives me problems. and I am never happy with the over all quality, and I would like to skip any extra work I might have to do. Plus, my boss is offering to get a better camera, So why turn that down!!
Thanks for the tip of keeping the subjects lighting different then the screen. I know you have to light them separately but never thought about keeping the Lumanace levels different between the two.
as far as a Camera, I'm looking into the JVC GY-HD100U. But I will look into the camera that you recommended.
Oh, and I'm glad to see Wisconsin keeping it real :) We are in Madison.

I got the hottest beats and the softest fur.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 9:47:10 pm

There are a couple Sony HDV cameras under 5 grand, not by much though. I have worked with the Panny HVX200 and I actually kind of like it, for a smaller format camcorder. The P2 part I'm not crazy about, but that's just because it doesn't work well for my particular needs and workflow. If you shoot short-form stuff, and not too often, however, the 2-slot P2 system may be all you need. If you are talking about shooting many hours, I'd go with a firestore hard drive instead. But the camera is nice and gives a pretty picture. You can shoot SD DV tape with it when you don't need HD. Or shoot to an external hard drive. JVC has a funky, long-looking camcorder that can shoot HDV to tape and/or hard drive at the same time, no flash cards. Saw a demo in the studio, not a bad setup. First time I saw a Fujinon lens I didn't hate!:-)

If you are in a large market city, you could try renting a couple different ones, one for each time you need it, then you'd have a track record of experiences to make a better-educated choice with.

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Ben HawkinsRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 14, 2008 at 9:58:19 pm

Thanks again, I will check out all of these cameras before we make our decision. But I have used the P2 system. I'm not sure what I think of it, It is not cheap though. But like I said, I think I'm leaning towards the JVC.


I got the hottest beats and the softest fur.

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Michael HancockRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 15, 2008 at 1:00:49 am

If you don't need HD, look for a used DVCPro camera that can shoot DVCPro50. You'll get your 4:2:2 colorspace, and if you can find a nice used ENG style camera you can get gorgeous pictures out of it. Many shoot 4:3 and 16:9 too--ours also shoots progressive.

You may also be able to find a used Beta cam--I've keyed a lot of Beta and it's not too bad. Like it was mentioned before, though, good lighting is the key (pun intended).


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Stephen SmithRe: Green screen Camera
by on Jul 18, 2008 at 3:04:43 pm

If it's worth anything I love the HVX-200 and have done a lot of keys off of footage shot with it. The open to this Motion tutorial I created was shot with the HVX-200.

Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Producitons

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2

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